New format and function not good

Cow

Senior Member
Okay, I'll tell you what I would like. A way to come to the forum, see what has been added since my last visit, and respond with questions or answers.

Just like we used to be able to do.
I agree.

That was basically the only forum function I used to use, "new posts" and probably the same for many other members.

Now our options are last 2 days, last 3 days, last week.

How do I get the results to show just the threads, instead of all the threads and posted replies? I don't want to see 6 different lines of replies to the same topic, I just want to see one line showing the thread title.

Also, members locations.
 

steve66

Senior Member
Go over to another electrician's forum. That's what a real electricians forum looks like, and the format is way better too.
This forum and the other both use the same off the shelf software - vBulletin. We are on version 5.5.3 (i can see it at the bottom). They are on 3. something.

I don't think Mike Holt's Webmaster has much control over how the forum looks - it just depends on what the Vbulletin software provides.

For Version 5, this is apparently it. As mentioned before, older versions leave the forum vulnerable to hacking. I don't think anyone wants that.

I agree its unfortunate that Vbulletin thinks they have the change the interface on the newer versions of the software when everyone liked the old versions better. But it is what it is.

Apparently they are following Microsoft's lead. I hated it when Microsoft added ribbon panels to word, excel, and all the other popular programs. And don't even get me started on how confusion Outlook is. But I got used to it eventually.

I think I'll get used to this too.
 
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MAC702

Senior Member
..... I don;t understand all the anxiety over this
Maybe chalking this up to it being our fault (anxiety) is part of the problem.

It is now so difficult to navigate this site, that only morbid curiosity is forcing me to find just these threads that remind me I'm not the only one who finds this entire thing ridiculous, uninviting, and doomed.

I'm guessing those who are saying "get used to it" and "get over it" aren't having the problems with it that the rest of us are. I've only been here 12 years. You probably won't notice me gone. I feel bad that you are going to lose some much better talent than me.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
I agree.

That was basically the only forum function I used to use, "new posts" and probably the same for many other members.

Now our options are last 2 days, last 3 days, last week.

How do I get the results to show just the threads, instead of all the threads and posted replies? I don't want to see 6 different lines of replies to the same topic, I just want to see one line showing the thread title.

Also, members locations.
Hear! Hear! I don't want to wade through 100 posts to find a thread that has something new. Show new/old threads, not posts.
 

peter d

Senior Member
This forum and Electrician Talk both use the same off the shelf software - vBulletin. We are on version 5.5.3 (i can see it at the bottom). They are on 3. something.

I don't think Mike Holt's Webmaster has much control over how the forum looks - it just depends on what the Vbulletin software provides.

For Version 5, this is apparently it. As mentioned before, older versions leave the forum vulnerable to hacking. I don't think anyone wants that.

I agree its unfortunate that Vbulletin thinks they have the change the interface on the newer versions of the software when everyone liked the old versions better. But it is what it is.

Apparently they are following Microsoft's lead. I hated it when Microsoft added ribbon panels to word, excel, and all the other popular programs. And don't even get me started on how confusion Outlook is. But I got used to it eventually.

I think I'll get used to this too.
I get that, but unfortunately the newer version is worse than the old. :rant:
 

steve66

Senior Member
Hear! Hear! I don't want to wade through 100 posts to find a thread that has something new. Show new/old threads, not posts.

Well, the forum was down for maintenance yesterday, and today I see "New Topics", "Last 2 days", "Last 3 days", and "Last week".

So I think the powers that be are doing whatever they can to make everyone happy.
 

tkb

Senior Member
I can't see any recent or new threads as an option.
The only options are post lists from two, three or last week.
These are individual posts and not threads.

I think I am out unless some things get fixed.

It looks like my avatar doesn't work anymore either.
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
I can't see any recent or new threads as an option.
The only options are post lists from two, three or last week.
These are individual posts and not threads.

I think I am out unless some things get fixed.

It looks like my avatar doesn't work anymore either.
Have you gone into "settings" and checked the "show avitar" box? That seems to have fixed some people's problem.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
Mine is already clicked to show. See an avatar by my name??

We need a "how to use the forum" primer.



Two minutes of "working" and no post, but clicking again says "duplicate" even though there is no post.
I suspect that you may have to replace your current (old Forum) Avatar with a GIF of suitably small size to allow the new Forum code to display it. Just a hypothesis at the moment.
The slow rendering of a new page is indeed frustrating, but it seems to have improves somewhat with overnight changes.
But from the New Topics list I still get up to 20 seconds before the thread I select using the unread posts icon displays. Still not acceptable, IMHO.
It does seem that the mobile view is much faster than the browser view for some reason.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
That last post by me had the same experience you had, with the addition of several JSON and database error messages along the way, but refreshing the page in browser showed the Post was successful. Strange.
 

myspark

Senior Member
Infinity

Moderator


The old version of the software was full of security vulnerabilities and needed to be updated to a more modern, more secure version.

…………….




Security in fora like this is a joke.

Everytime you are logged-in, your IP address is exposed and everyone knows where you are and they can track your browsing habit.

With the numerous flak that the NEW FORMAT is getting. . . it seems like the Webmaster deserve recognition and be awarded the “most unpopular upgrade” from the majority of members.

A “seamless” upgrade with minimum complaints is the hallmark of a good Webmaster.

Some junior high kids doing website design is a new fad in China. They are paid minimally and I think this is what we have. And a lot of them still have to master the English Language

It is always said that resisting change is a human nature.

This seems to be true but change is a necessity especially in the world of IT/electronics.

New ideas in IT and electronics that come with these radical new ideas have a turnover of 18 months at the most. So keeping up with change is survival requisite.

Easy navigation and minimum surprises excel when it comes to old cudgers using the site.

There will be a round of complexity. . . however electricians are pretty caught-up in their world of continuity.


I agree, there is a lot to be desired. And there is so many to list them here.
 
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MAC702

Senior Member
... from the New Topics list I still get up to 20 seconds before the thread I select using the unread posts icon displays....
At least you have a "New Topics" list. Most of us don't. And it was the only way most of used the forum. Anything else is worthless.

EDIT: This is the first time I experienced the severe lag and error message that others have been talking about. At least I knew to do a refresh and wait even longer. That's just the icing on this really bad cake.

Seriously, is this being fixed or are they just trying to wait us out and see who's left?
 

MAC702

Senior Member
Well, SOMETHING has changed. I didn't have the lag before that others were talking about. Now I do. I'll check back tomorrow...

BTW, the requirement to wait between searches is retarded. Sometimes a search term is bad and you need to do another one right away; sometimes several while checking various terms for better results. Granted, at least you only set it for 10 seconds. Most forums with this feature have it at an insane 30.

Even as it is, the lag is so bad you don't even know you violated the ten-second rule for about 30 seconds.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
It is always said that resisting change is a human nature.
It's not even a matter of change or newness. When I first find and join any new forum, there is a great learning curve. However, everything one needs to use and navigate the forum is usually there; it's obvious or easily found, and it's easy to develop a routine to use the preferences, setting, features, and shortcuts.

What's wrong here is that the new format doesn't display the user tools in a prominent place. When I arrive, I don't know what to click on to find anything. Whoever tells the webmaster how the forum should operate didn't get the message relayed very well. Not appearance, but function. Where are the tabs we want?

As for our "anxiety" or "upsetness", I'm stunned that we forum members are put down for our passion and caring. You (and you know who you are) should be glad that we care enough to make the effort, to go through the trouble to express ourselves, rather than simply say "Screw it!" and stop coming here to participate.
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
The forum is working pretty much the way I was using the old one. But I don't go in for 'recent activity' buttons or 'new topics.'

-- I look at the list of active fora. The ones with new posts are highlighted. Click on a highlighted forum.
-- This shows a list of Topics, in reverse-chronological order (ie newest first). Topics with new posts are highlighted. Click on a highlighted topic.
-- See list of Posts, in chronological order (ie oldest first). Indicator shows page 1 of 543, and I can click to go to the next page. There used to be a "LAST" button here.
But if I scroll to the bottom of the page, the indicator page 1 of 543 is repeated, with a PREVIOUS button and a button with the highest page number (ie "LAST").
-- Click on highest page number. May have to click the left arrow in the indicator if there were a lot of posts I haven't read.
Read messages I haven't read yet, spewing replies as appropriate.
-- Click higher page numbers to read all messages. If I click the left arrow several times to find the last post I read, I use the back button on my mouse to move from, say, 541 to 542 to 543. Next back click is back to page 1 of the posts. Next back click is back to Topics. Next back click is back to list of fora.

That's how I navigated on the old page; it still works pretty much the same way.

Sometimes I receive a >>GATEWAY TIMEOUT The gateway did not receive a timely response from the upstream server or application<< error. I wonder if it's only topics with large numbers of posts??

Time to change from page to page is glacially slow.

I would have illustrated my comments with screen shots, but when I tried to upload some .JPG files, I was told >>MikeHolt.gif Image resize failed due to your image library not having support for this image type.<< Changed docs to .GIF. Received same message! Is uploading down??
 

al hildenbrand

Senior Member
I would have illustrated my comments with screen shots, but when I tried to upload some .JPG files, I was told >>MikeHolt.gif Image resize failed due to your image library not having support for this image type.<< Changed docs to .GIF. Received same message! Is uploading down??
This seems to be an area of the vBulletin code that needs some substantial tweaking by those that can get under the hood of the Forum's code. Dennis Alwon has quoted someone (webmaster?) who stated that avatars were difficult, at the moment.

I received that exact error message while attempting to reinstall my avatar, first with a JPG, then a BMP, then a GIF. It was only when I dug up out of old files, my original 48 x 48 pixel GIF that I succeeded.

The image upload processing code seems to be crippled at present.
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
It's not even a matter of change or newness. When I first find and join any new forum, there is a great learning curve. However, everything one needs to use and navigate the forum is usually there; it's obvious or easily found, and it's easy to develop a routine to use the preferences, setting, features, and shortcuts.

What's wrong here is that the new format doesn't display the user tools in a prominent place. When I arrive, I don't know what to click on to find anything. Whoever tells the webmaster how the forum should operate didn't get the message relayed very well. Not appearance, but function. Where are the tabs we want?

As for our "anxiety" or "upsetness", I'm stunned that we forum members are put down for our passion and caring. You (and you know who you are) should be glad that we care enough to make the effort, to go through the trouble to express ourselves, rather than simply say "Screw it!" and stop coming here to participate.
If you're referring to me then you have it all wrong. I didn't put anyone down. I even explained in a more recent post that what I initially said may have come out in a way that I didn't intend. I was just saying that rather than get upset, it would be better to just wait it out and maybe staying off for a short while, to see if things can improve.

As I also stated, we have zero control over any of this. All we can do is report it and we have a long list of things already to report.

Now put yourselves in our (Mods) shoes. Imagine you walked in to a job, you've never been there before and only have instructions for your specific job that you are there to do. Now imagine folks coming at you from every direction. Some are saying the plumbing doesn't work, some saying the phones are out, others are saying the HVAC isn't working right, etc. All you can tell them is you can call the GC because you have no control. They don't seem to hear that and want you to fix the problems. That's how I feel with these problems we are experiencing. I want it to work right and I want to help but don't know what to do other than report.

Having said that, if I have offended anyone, it was unintentional, and I apologize. If I know how to answer specific questions, I will do so and be glad to help. I think the most prevalent problem is the screen display seems to be different for Mods than for the members. I discovered that not only from your posts, but opening the forum without logging in. So we/I didn't understand why you couldn't do certain things.

Hopefully, a "rush" is put on and at least some of this can be addressed soon.
 

gar

Senior Member
190816-2033 EDT

This software should never have been put online without adequate testing. Further competent people should have been doing the development work. If this were supplied to an to an automotive plant for production purposes the supplier would be out of business by now.

Ideas from someone sitting behind a desk detached from the real world, and not tested in the real world application is no way to develop systems or software. I see the results of this approach in many areas.

I like using self-service checkout at the grocery store, or other stores. Most of this physical equipment, and software is not well designed, keeps changing, and not necessarily in a better direction. However, there are ways in which the equipment is quite good. Usually it is accurate, which is vitally important. The problems are mostly in human interface, both mechanical and electronic.

.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
add to yuk colunm so far

cannot access from explorer, only from chrome - my coputer or general
FWIW, even though IE used to be the standard for website support, it is now deprecated, even by Microsoft. Anything that uses recent HTML extensions is likely to fail with IE. Not to mention its extensive security problems which are no longer being patched.
 

readydave8

remember
Right now forum is very obviously not working well, hopefully whoever is responsible realizes this and will fix it, OK I'll be patient

But what I don't completely understand is why can't it work as well as other forums? (ET for example, there are glitches but works OK as long as I block ads). Did someone try to design a forum from scratch? Why not do whatever is working elsewhere?

I like "1st unread post" feature on ET and the old MH, hope we get it back
 

readydave8

remember
I see Larry Fine "has a spectaculor aura about" when I hover over that bar under his name, versus the "will become famous soon enough" under most other names. But I sorta don't care.
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
It’s getting better or I’m getting used to it.

What is a hamburger menu? I must not recognize it for what it is.

Location of poster was very important. Still is.

Are my Samsung and IPad considered mobile devices or just my cell phone? That would be part of my problems if the functionality is different from cell, iPad and desktop.

[HR][/HR]
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
FWIW, even though IE used to be the standard for website support, it is now deprecated, even by Microsoft. Anything that uses recent HTML extensions is likely to fail with IE. Not to mention its extensive security problems which are no longer being patched.
So what is the standard now?
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
So what is the standard now?
The leading browser in terms of use seems to be Chrome. It has an excellent HTML5 implementation. Firefox still has a lot of advocates. Microsoft wants you to use Edge instead of IE, but it does not have much market penetration.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
It’s getting better or I’m getting used to it.

What is a hamburger menu? I must not recognize it for what it is.

Location of poster was very important. Still is.

Are my Samsung and IPad considered mobile devices or just my cell phone? That would be part of my problems if the functionality is different from cell, iPad and desktop.

[HR][/HR]
A hamburger menu is a small square array of three equal length horizontal lines. When you click on it a menu drops down with the different available options, including the critically important "New Threads" which is implemented to show a list of threads which contain unread posts, with the newest first. Pretty much what people need to read and respond to new posts.
The other search filters are all oriented to Posts. The result is a list of (unread?) Posts with newest first. If you want to view them in context in a thread you have to select the Post and then view the entire thread.

The iPad, using iOS instead of OS X, is generally considered to be a mobile device. The operating system and platform are more important in deciding what website view to use.
Some mobile browsers, such as Puffin, allow you to lie about your platform and get access to the standard browser view. Some websites give you the option of using the standard view even from a "mobile" platform. Our site does not.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Actually, Dennis has been the most critical about the criticism.
Not so much critical but surprised that everyone is blown away by it all. The last upgrade had similar responses although I admit less issue but members wanted to stay with the old forum.

Believe me when I say I have issues with the new format also but I also did with the last upgrade. Your eyes get used to the styles, colors etc and it takes time to get used to it.
 

MAC702

Senior Member
...Your eyes get used to the styles, colors etc and it takes time to get used to it.
You still think those are what this is about? Where is the comprehensive list of New Topics that shows new posts BY THREAD? I'm not going to search each individual forum. I've seen this "style, colors etc" on other forum sites and can still use them. No, I can't find a "hamburger menu," either. Have never heard that term in using computers for 35 years, but so be it. I still don't have one.

SOMETHING WAS DONE SIGNIFICANTLY WRONG ON THIS DOWNGRADE. And no one seems to care.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
You still think those are what this is about? Where is the comprehensive list of New Topics that shows new posts BY THREAD? I'm not going to search each individual forum. I've seen this "style, colors etc" on other forum sites and can still use them. No, I can't find a "hamburger menu," either. Have never heard that term in using computers for 35 years, but so be it. I still don't have one.

SOMETHING WAS DONE SIGNIFICANTLY WRONG ON THIS DOWNGRADE. And no one seems to care.
Trust me the IT guys are working non stop on this. We do care but we cannot work miracles.
 

texie

Senior Member
The speed issue seems to be fine in the AM. As the day goes on it get very slow.
I also notice a number of threads that say there are zero responses yet when you open them, there are in fact responses.
 

texie

Senior Member
It's clear that the natives are unhappy about this updated software. While I'm not a forum software expert and there are many vendors of forum software, I do know that vBulletin is a player. This seems to be an implementation issue rather than a flawed product and hopefully we have some folks behind this that can sort it all out.
 

gar

Senior Member
190819-0923 EDT

Seems like the forum has more problems today than before. In some respects it is a mess. A return to the previous software should done. Then throughly debug the new before imposing it on the general user.

Loading a revised software version should not require 10s of hours of load time.

Create a new web site in which to do your experimenting. Leave the regular site in a working condition.

As I said before, if you were supplying software to an automotive production line, then way before now you would be out of business.

​​​​​​​.

.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
vBulletin.version = '5.2.2'; It's in the page source.

(And pasting that text in seems to have changed the font to Courier; I had to go into "source" mode (the top/right button in the formatting bar.)
Yes. The old version defaulted to interpreting pasted content as plain text and applying defaullt fonts and sizes to it. The new version tries to interpret all pasted text as formatted text and to preserve the format from the copy source. For the needs of this forum, that is not a good choice and the behavior should be changed if possible.
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
It's like breaking in a new pair of shoes-- at first, they pinch, they rub, they squeeze your toes. But after a few (?) weeks of wearing them, they feel like the best pair of shoes you've ever worn! Besides, your old left shoe had a hole in the sole and every time it rained your sock got wet!
 

g3guy

Member
I come here once a decade and what do I find? A bunch of whiners! Of course I don't remember what this forum looked like so ...
 

al hildenbrand

Senior Member
I come here once a decade and what do I find? A bunch of whiners! Of course I don't remember what this forum looked like so ...
How ironic. Welcome back. Stay a while and get comfortable.

The new BBCode version upgrade just got over a major hurdle just this morning. There are still features to restore, and, I am sure, new features to be discovered.
 

g3guy

Member
I think Haley's comet comes back every eighty-some years.
It's 75 years.

And... Why is this thread buried here instead of front page prominence? Trivial task to move it. Trying to hide something?

And...
he will be back in ten years. it's like talking to haley's comet.
I'll be 92 and I may have 50 posts by then!
 

kwired

Electron manager
And... Why is this thread buried here instead of front page prominence? Trivial task to move it. Trying to hide something?
First day or so since new software was in use, there were many posts like this one with questions/complaints on the new software. There is no forum dedicated to this content, and some were having trouble navigating to a particular forum anyway and where they might have started a thread just depended on where they were at when they started a topic.

Looks like some problems are getting cleaned up though.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
First day or so since new software was in use, there were many posts like this one with questions/complaints on the new software. There is no forum dedicated to this content, and some were having trouble navigating to a particular forum anyway and where they might have started a thread just depended on where they were at when they started a topic.

Looks like some problems are getting cleaned up though.
I suggested a new forum for site problems and comments, even temporarily until things get ironed out. I would move all these threads that are now all over the place there so they would all be in one place where we would know to look and comment.

-Hal
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
In another site I moderate there is such a forum but it is in the moderator area. We get to report the issue so they are not overwhelmed with everyone posting in it.

We have been reading the few threads we have on forum issues and have been letting the webmaster know.
 

ATSman

Senior Member
190812-2430 EDT

New format and function is not very satisfactory.

Why a new design when the old one was quite useful?

.
I belong to this forum and the format is pretty much the same as the old MH forum. It is much more intuitive than the new format. I have heard the reason that it was changed was for more security. Webmaster, why can't that be achieved and still have a format that is user friendly??

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1600980#post1600980
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
I come here once a decade and what do I find? A bunch of whiners! Of course I don't remember what this forum looked like so ...
I haven’t been around for years either, had to get used to the new stuff. Noticed some things though...
infinitys eagle in the sunset is gone, jumpers teddy bear is gone, boesekers Car is gone(I think) ... couple of others...
still getting used to the slow posting time. I don’t think it’s doing anything, so I click again.. double post...

OH! And “The Music Game” post number one was shared. Never dreamed it would still be going. I haven’t contributed... Kinda want to hang around now and be post number 10,000
 
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GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
I belong to this forum and the format is pretty much the same as the old MH forum. It is much more intuitive than the new format. I have heard the reason that it was changed was for more security. Webmaster, why can't that be achieved and still have a format that is user friendly??

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1600980#post1600980
The answer is pretty simple. Closing the security holes (substantial and exposing both users and the site to attack) required jumping a major version release of the underlying vBulletin software. Changes in the defaults, options and controls make it a very difficult task for the admins to re-install the old look and feel customizations. It is a work in progress and we appreciate your feedback on priorities.
 

gar

Senior Member
190921-1030 EDT

Big problem with this site.

I was composing a response to the thread on "Problem with voltage on kitchen sink" in Troubleshooting, and bam my post editing was aborted. It is stuck in a state "working" with the last post about 1:29 AM. A message of
"Today, 08:17 AM
This topic by Andrewnorman has been deleted by ActionDave
Reason: spam"
is now at the end where my response would be.
This 8:17 time is a time earlier than when I was working on my response. Makes no sense. This spam thing looks like it does not belong associated with this thread.

The entire thread "Problem .... " is no longer in Troubleshooting.

Whatever I was writing is totally lost.

There are still very major problems with this website software.

10:56 now I have been able to go back and find the thread, and finish my comment.

.
 
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hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
I edited a post I just completed and my editing doesn't show up. Not the first time. I think once it showed up a few hours later.:thumbsdown:

-Hal
 
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